East County Sports

NBC World Series to welcome Stars

San Diego Stars starting pitcher Cole Hartman / Photo by Nick Pellegrino



ECS staff report

LAKESIDE — There is little reason to worry if you’re a pitcher for the San Diego Stars summer collegiate baseball team.

Once again, every time a Stars pitcher yielded a run — earned or unearned — the Stars offense answered with a major, multiple-run inning.

On Thursday (Ju; 21), for example, the answer-back occurred twice, as the Stars completed a 3-game season series sweep of the Ocean-side based Clippers, taking a 14-2 decision in 8 innings.

With the San Diego (Escondido) Waves bowing out of the National Baseball Congress World Series, the Stars, which will finish as the second-place team out of the Western Baseball Association, will again represent the circuit in Wichita, Kan., for their fourth straight appearance in the NBC World Series.

Three summers ago, they reached the national quarterfinals, then the national semifinals in 2020, then went 0-2 last season — oh, well, you can’t win them all!

“The Waves elected to go to the Marshall Gates World Series (in Kearns, Utah),” said Stars owner Kelly Ritayik. “So we will be proud to represent the Western Baseball Association in the NBC World Series.”

NBCWS will hold its 88th annual event from July 28-August 6. The tournament is now heldin Wichita and Hutchison, Kan.

Prior toe passing of late Stars owner-field manager Mickey Deustchman, the ballclub contemplating starting a rival tournament, like onces in Utah and Omaha, Neb. But with California at the height of its tourist season, prcices for motels, attraction and gasoline were deemed too expensive for ballclubs to travel here from the Midwest, South and East Coast.

With the announcement of postseason plans for the Stars and Waves, it will take away from the teams’ 3-game, regular season-ending series slated for this weekend, which will now be a “for pride” event.

The Waves will host Saturday’s doubleheader against the Stars, starting at noon from Escondido High,with the return game slated for Sunday at El Capitan High.

The Stars (15-6 overall, 15-5 WBA) extended their conference win streak to five after answering both runs by the Clippers.

In the first, after the Clippers third batter, Trevor Moeck ((Rancho Bernardo ’21, Bradley University) smacked a solo home over the Hostetler Field scoreboard in left field,

San Diego rebounded with four quick runs.
The bounce-back took just two batters on consecutive singles by .Ethan Wright (to second base on a throwing error) and Danny Zapeda. The marker was the first of 10 straight runs by the Stars.

In the seventh, three straight Clippers hit led to a second run, but the Stars soared back with a 5-run rally after the first two batters struck out.

Andrew Ritayik, wearing the Stars’ swag chain following his first wood-bat home run.

Included was a 2-run homer by Brady Joslyn. Two batters later, Andrew Ritayik also clouted a 2-run homer, going over the center field terrace, giving him a summer-best four RBI in a single game.

The blast by Ritayik, who now plays first base, third base and pitches when he is not catching, normally would’ve trigger the run rule. However, the ballclubs agreed to play before shutting it down in the middle of the eighth.. It was also his first homer in several seasons, further demonstrating the growing development by the Southwest Oregon College prospect out of West Hills High.

Joslyn and Wright posted two hits each for the Stars.

The winning pitcher was Cole Hartman, who struck out six Clippers batters in his scheduled four innings. The versatile Luke Gentry, who both stars and relives, strcuk out five over his four frames for a club-leading fifth save of the summer.

The defensive play of the game went to Stars third baseman Jason Gonzalez, who made a back-handed stab at a hard grounder, tagged the base for the first out, then fired the ball to Ritayik at first base for an inning-ending double play in the third.


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